Food / Art & Design: Wonderwater Café at Beijing Design Week

During Beijing Design Week earlier this month, diners at Wonderwater Café were presented with a menu that tracked the water footprint of popular Chinese dishes.

The how much water do you eat? menu comprised delightful infographics that calculated the amount of water used to create Far Eastern fare at the existing Tian Hai restaurant – situated in the Xuanwu District of the city.

The initiative was set up by Kari Korkman – Helsinki Design Week’s founder and producer – and curator Jane Withers, and hoped to provoke visitors to the pop-up café to consider the environmental effects of local and globally sourced food.

Surprisingly, we use more water to produce food than we do for drinking, cooking and washing – Netherlands based website waterfootprint.org was founded in 2008 to enable consumers to assess their impact on the environment, tracking both the manufacture and transport implications of their grocery choices – which gives us some insight into the possible future implications we could face if our freshwater sources actually run out.

As sustainability issues become key considerations in design, we look forward to seeing more projects, akin to the Wonderwater café, that address our global issues in a thought provoking way, essentially prompting us preserve our scarce resources before it is too late.

Watch a short animation of a sample meal from the project here. – Samantha Fox

Video credited to Christian Borstlap.

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